Did you know you have a living garden inside of you? Your gut is teeming with life, filled with the flora that determine your overall vitality in a big way. You may not be able to see them at all, but as Horton the elephant would say, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
I initially learned about fermented foods through one of my heathen friends, so it is interesting to be writing a post, years later, about the spiritual lessons I have learned through this process. I see it as just another way God works everything together for the good of those who believe.
The spiritual aspect of fermentation for me began when I was sitting alone at my dining room table pounding away at a crock full of fresh cabbage. I was making sauerkraut. A layer of chopped cabbage, a layer of salt, a layer of chopped cabbage, a layer of salt. Pound, mash, pound, mash. I began to ponder to the rhythmic process. The salt and mashing of the cabbage encouraged the release of its juices, creating a salty brine where life would eventually proliferate in the form of friendly bacteria, popularly known as probiotics, which means “life-giving.”
I began to ponder about how my body is really a universe unto itself, made up of countless living beings- some good, some bad. And I thought, “Wow. I’m like that. I am one of countless living beings populating the earth, which is a mere speck in our galaxy, which is minuscule compared to the universe containing all the other galaxies… And what’s beyond all that? What’s out there past the edges? I can’t even comprehend the vastness of it all…” That’s how big our God is.
The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.
There is no end to His infinite wisdom no matter how big or how small you go, for what’s happening out there is happening inside of you also.
You see, the time it takes to do something the traditional way inspires reflection, gratitude, awe… Watching the process take place is just as miraculous as watching a tiny seed sprout and grow. It feeds a part of your soul that is starved in today’s culture of convenience, busyness, and distraction.
What about you? Have you tried making your own sauerkraut before? If not, I hope I have piqued your curiosity.
Stay tuned, because my next fermentation contemplation is all about an ancient shepherd’s tonic.
Picture Credit: Pic 2 drawn by my sister, Meg Porter